Everything You Need to Know About Managed IT Services Pricing  

Many small businesses avoid outsourcing IT support because of their misperception that it will cost more than handling technology upkeep in-house. However, the average cost of managed IT support services is quite affordable, especially when your MSP specializes in small to mid-sized companies. Truth is, when you consider the hidden costs of downtime or the burden of asking a tech-savvy employee to tackle tech support on top of his or her actual job responsibilities, outsourcing tech support can suddenly look much more reasonable.

Plus, when you compare managed IT services fees to the cost of hiring a full-time technology specialist, most SMBs realize that investment is well outside their budget. For reference, the salary range for junior technicians is about $60,000, and a single experienced IT engineer can run $150,000 or more, depending on your location. Comparably, the average cost for managed IT services ranges from $45-$125 per user per month depending on the tier of support you want and need. So, if you have a company with 40 employees, that means an annual investment between $22,000 and $60,000—well below the cost of an in-house IT team.  

Advantages of Using Managed IT Services

There are several other reasons to engage with an experienced managed services provider (MSP). The opportunity to bring a team with strategic technology expertise—crucial for fast-growing businesses in today’s competitive marketplace—into your small business is invaluable. A mature, well-run MSP has more than just 24/7 helpdesk support to offer. Your IT support partner can address cybersecurity concerns and provide next-step compliance solutions and guidance if you operate in a highly regulated vertical such as legal, finance, or healthcare.  Certified and experienced engineers will manage everything from laptops to business continuity solutions, creating a stable, reliable technology environment that enables your team’s productivity and increases your ability to service customers. Remote monitoring services and proactive maintenance schedules reduce downtime—and headaches.

While all these tasks could be handled by an in-house technician, the list exceeds the capabilities of one staff member—reinforcing the cost savings. Plus, when your small business matures and expands, that need for talent grows exponentially—quickly impacting your budget. With a per user/per month managed services program, you can easily budget for cost increases, making your tech roadmap predictable and manageable.

Understanding How Managed IT Services Pricing Works

Speaking of budgets, let’s talk a bit more about how MSPs price IT support and what you should expect to pay. There are multiple options for IT support pricing, everything from full-service managed IT services packages to pay-as-you-go pricing or block-of-hours plans.

For most, a managed IT support services package is the most cost-effective choice and many offer tiers of support that allow you to choose the best level for your company. The cost of outsourced IT support aligns with the number of employees you have, growing only as your business expands, but it also spreads your IT support costs over the year, turning tech support into an operating expense versus a capital investment. A monthly recurring cost for IT can also offset the impact of unplanned technology break-fix costs, which tend to happen at the worst possible time.

As discussed above, most managed IT support agreements are priced by the number of users. However, there are exceptions. For example, projects such as implementing a new software solution or tackling a move to cloud computing usually fall outside your managed services agreement.  Be sure you understand how your managed IT services provider differentiates what is covered in your contract and what is extra. While most MSPs provide a project estimate based on a simple flat hourly rate, others may require you to purchase blocks of time.

Managed IT services are likely the best solution for your small business but remember to ask the right questions as you select a partner. Be certain you understand their IT support contract prices, the average cost for IT support per hour for projects or other out-of-scope work, and how they are qualified to support small businesses with reliable, affordable technology solutions.  

Need more guidance? Check out our blog: Five Questions to Ask Before Selecting an MSP Partner